BACKGROUND:-
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A common problem during monsoon for people occupying a flat on top floor. I'm living on rent since three years in a building which was constructed 20 years ago. Two years back an Architect was hired to perform a risk and damage assessment hence the previous working committee agreed for a new roof-top asbestos shed. Since then the leakage problem has increased a lot due to the shabby work. Repeated verbal and also a written complaint has been given to the current working committee even on 11th May, 2015 before the monsoon, authorized by my landlord with an acknowledgement from the society still the repairs were not done. Further even displaying the snaps of leakage and calls from my landlord to secretary they are not paying heed or even visiting to observe the situation.

RESEARCH
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I have read Bye Law 160 (a)
Firstly, under Bye-law No. 160, the following Repairs and Maintenance of the Society’s property shall be carried out by the society at its cost:
a) (i) all internal roads (ii) compound walls (iii) external water pipes (iv) water pumps (v) water storage tanks (vi) drainage lines (vii) septic tanks (viii) stair-cases (ix) terrace and parapet walls (x) roof of flats (xi) staircases lights (xii) street lights (xiii) outside walls of the building/buildings (xiv) all leakages of water (xv) electric lines up to main switches in the flats and (xvi) lifts if any (xvii) roofs of the flat and ceiling and the plaster thereon on the top floor on account of the leakages of the rain water through the terrace.

QUESTIONS
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1. Can the owner stop paying the maintenance charges since non-occupancy are also paid by him till the repairs are fixed?
2. To assure repairs are done properly can owner stop paying the maintenance from July 2015 till next year 2016 monsoon?
3. Society denies for internal ceiling repairs does the owner have proper justification with Bye Law 160 (a)?
4. What are the rights I can exercise as a tenant if harassment is caused by members of working committee?
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  • This is a common issue faced in all societies, compounded by apathy of the society.

    It may not be possible to sue for the asbestos shed. In Mumbai, the municipal laws do not allow permanent construction on the terrace. A temporary shed is allowed for which municipal permission is required. Hence you cannot force the committee for a "illegal" solution.

    Unfortunately the shed is the only solution. All water proofing methods have limited (2-3 years) effectiveness. As a tenant, if i am not mistaken, you have a privity of contact with the landlord, so you may not be able to interact with the society.

    The landlord can take legal action, including holding the committee members personally liable for negligence. Such cases have been fought and won in the consumer court which is faster than the cooperative courts, but expect 3-4 years for resolution.
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